First Impression: L’Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Total Repair 5 Review

L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Total Repair 5 Review

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive my very first Voxbox courtesy of Influenster*!  This Voxbox was themed around L’Oreal’s new Hair Expertise line that offers a variety of products that cater to a number of hair problems/issues; I received the Total Repair 5 line which is meant for Damaged Hair.  Included in my box was the Total Repair 5 Shampoo, Conditioner and Anti-Split Ends Cica Creme.

The Total Repair line is formulated with Cicamide, which is an ingredient I have never heard of before.  I googled it and couldn’t really find much about it.  Regardless, L’Oreal claims that cicamide helps strengthens the fibre and helps restore hair’s surface.  It also touts five benefits of repair: strength, density, vitality, shine and silkiness and states that use after use, hair is repaired from root to tip.

Initially I was unsure if this was really a line my hair could benefit from as I don’t really consider my hair to be damaged.  Then I saw the little tip in the magazine stating that if you use heat tools every day, this line is for you.  Check!  I heat style daily, whether it be with a blow dryer, a curling iron or my hot brush.   I also colour my hair (highlights and lowlights) every 8 weeks; right now my hair is a darker blonde but in the summer I tend to go lighter and I find that is when my hair feels a little more “fried”.  Surprisingly, I feel like I put my hair through a lot and it’s pretty resistant.  However, I definitely have split ends and I do find that I lose my hair quite a bit (it’s always all over the bathroom floor, stuck to the back of my sweaters/coats, etc.  Drives my husband crazy.)  So I may very well be in denial about my hair being damaged.  Despite that, I feel like my hair is in the best shape it’s been in for years, partly because I’ve found some great products that work well with my hair type!

So far I’ve used the entire system once and below are my thoughts:

L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Total Repair 5 Review


From daily brushing or styling, hair can become fine, fragile, dull or rough with split ends.  Help repair 5 signs of damaged hair without weighing it down.

I found the shampoo to be thick and luxurious feeling; it lathered well and had a fairly potent but pleasant scent (hard to describe – I find L’Oreal shampoos all have a very similar scent – kind of perfumey?)  I did shampoo twice as I always do with any shampoo (I wash my hair every 3 days and I find it necessary to wash it twice to get rid of the build-up and really get my hair clean).

The conditioner was thick as well – it was really rich and creamy. I could feel the moisture in it as I worked it through my hair.  Note that because my hair is fine, I focus first on the ends and sparingly use what is left over on my roots.  I left it in for approximately 1-2 minutes and then rinsed it out.

Once I’m out of the shower, I usually let my hair dry for a bit while wrapped up in a towel, and then I comb through it with a wide toothed comb.  Typically this is a bit of a struggle as my hair tangles easily; I did notice it didn’t seem quite as tangled as normal and it was a little easier to comb through.

L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Total Repair 5 Review


Light leave-in creme with CICAMIDE instantly penetrates the hair fibre for targeted repair.  Helps reduce breakage and split ends.  Application after application, CICA CREME provides cumulative protection against wear and tear.  

After combing out my hair, I applied a few pumps and distributed through my hair, focusing on the ends as directed.  This is a cream product with a slightly thin consistency.  It appeared to absorb nicely into my hair, without feeling greasy or leaving behind any residue.  It had the same scent as the shampoo and conditioner.

I then added my usual products to my hair (volumizing mousse and a thermal styling spray); I thought it was only fair to use this in conjunction with my normal hair routine.  As I was blow drying my hair, I noticed my hair felt silky and smoother than normal, but it also felt like it had a bit of a  film on it.  That wasn’t much of a surprise to me – anytime I use a product that is heavy and rich, it kind of clings to my hair rather than be absorbed by it.   I then curled my hair using my curling iron and went about my day.

When I got home after work that same day I noticed that the back half of my hair had fallen a bit flat and my hair felt a little heavier than usual.  When I woke up the next morning, my hair was greasier and oilier than usual, although my dry shampoo took care of that problem pretty quickly.  By Day 3 however, my hair noticeably more greasy and oily than, and my dry shampoo really wasn’t cutting it.  My hair was pretty limp and lifeless and felt really weighed down.  I was really happy to wash it the following day.

L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Total Repair 5 Review

Overall, I could see this shampoo working wonders for damaged to severely damaged hair.  I personally don’t feel like my hair is in either of those categories right now so I just found it a bit too much for me.  In addition, I don’t see this as a shampoo that I could use everyday or every time I wash my hair – it’s a bit too heavy and rich.  I’ve decided that I’m going to use these as deep conditioning treatments and pull them out once a month to help keep my hair in good shape.  As this is not its intended use, I’m not certain it’s going to work as well as it should however.

I did like the Anti-Split End Cicamide Creme and will keep that close by to apply to my ends before I pull out my hot brush/curling iron on Days 2 and 3.  I like having a product to smooth and moisturize my ends on the days in between washing as they tend to look a little dry and frizzy.  Plus I feel it will help protect my ends from the heat sources as well.

So would I purchase this on my own?  At this point I’m not sold on it as I think it’s just too heavy of a product to work for my hair.  But I feel like I need to give it a bit more use before I can make a definitive decision on it.

Have you tried any products within L’Oreal’s Hair Expertise line?  What was your experience like?

Thanks for reading!


*Note: These products were sent to me for review purposes only.  I did not receive any compensation in return for my review and all thoughts are my own.


  1. stashmatters says

    I purchased the hair mask from this range since I’ve heard people raving about it. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m also concerned about it weighing my hair down. It’s not a leave-in product so maybe that’s better. I don’t have dry damaged hair either – I wanted the mask mostly for treating my scalp in the winter months! I prefer clarifying shampoos – I do use a hair dryer on a daily basis so I probably should use more hair protectants.

    • ClassicMaggie says

      I’m using a heat protectant by Kenra that I love and it doubles a styling product. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my hair – that and not using my curling iron everyday. I’ve been using my hot brush instead and that has helped a ton. Do you round brush your hair everyday?

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